Russia has also been increasing export volume. This is now at about 190,000 tonnes per year. This increase is primarily due to significantly more pork exported to Vietnam – due to losses from ASF in that country. Volume of exports is today 3% to 4% of total volume produced.
There is a good deal of international discussion about within-country regionalisation with regards to areas free from ASF. If this was to be agreed to, especially by China, this could be a game-changer for the Russian pig industry. The map below shows in red the black soil regions of the world (grain baskets). It is clear from the map that Russia and neighbouring Ukraine have a huge natural resource in this regard.
The potential for that region of the world to feed our growing population and the 9 million people that die of starvation each year is obvious. The high productivity of black soil means lower cost of production.
Interestingly it is the EU and in particular Germany that is pushing hard to get regionalisation. It would be interesting to see if they were to achieve this if that would mean allowing imports from Russia into Europe!
Very unlikely I think. European legislators seem to be doing their very best to destroy its pig industry with ever-increasing numbers of rules that simply make pig production more expensive. The EU today has just over 12 million sows and is exporting about 13% of total production.
With new rules coming into place in many countries with regards to things like transport, tail docking, castration, and farrowing crates it is highly likely the EU will lose well over 1 million sows (countries that implement high welfare regulations historically have lost 50% of their pig production). This is a reduction that could well see the EU becoming a net importer rather than a net exporter of pigmeat! It will be interesting to see when this happens where the EU will allow meat to be imported from. For sure from countries that are not complying to the standards that will have caused the EU to lose its production!